Adjective: Not known or seen or not meant to be known or seen by others: "a secret plan".
Noun: Something that is kept or meant to be kept unknown or unseen by others: "a state secret".
I've never been a fan of secrets. The fact is the are always revealed in the final outcome so why of WHY would anyone try to keep one in the first place? Normally, as logic would suggest, secrets are usually in conjunction with something one should not be apart of in the first place that is trying to hide out the skeletons in the closet that you don't want people to see. It applies to everything... work, friendships, family, relationships... if you have to make a secret about it you probably would be ashamed of it if known by others so ya probably shouldn't do it.
I found out recently one of my most favorite of people in the entire world has been asked to retire from the company she has been with for 10+ years. Now, in a normal civilian job that wouldn't be TOO horrendous as the normal retiring age according to Social Security (yes I did chuckle as I went to check out online as that was the first option to find out) is between the ages of 62 and 70. My friend is in her early thirties. She is a ballet dancer as am I if you haven't read any of my previous blogs.
Something has happened to the ballet world. And well, to be honest has been happening for some time... about 7-10 years or so. Not just with dancers being forced into retirement 3-5 years earlier than they would like, but with Artistic directors literally disposing of the amazing great artist who once were the bouncy kids in the studio dancing around with scarves and doing free style dancing at the end of their pre-ballet/creative movement class because something inside of them moved as the music was playing. And although I know something will always move inside of a dancer even when, Heaven forbid, they are old and potentially wheel chair bound with the years dedicated and sweat equity put into the few and far between cherished moments you had as magic happened on stage and you knew not only did you change as an artist in that moment but also person... something will always arouse on the inside when the music goes on... but the tragedy is, at 33+ you are still capable, and quite honestly with enough life under your belt to TRULY create art.
Young dancers (as I recall being one many moons ago) don't have enough life to do and dance what these artist can that when they are pushed out and replaced with these younger artists some of the magic dies. And I am scared on the inside that sooner or later with the patterns that are happening in the dance world that eventually the young dancers will only have young (or younger) dancers to look up to and emulate and 1. never hit their artistic prime, but 2. it be too late cause all the magic will have been completely depleted.
My friend was given 2 options. Tell everyone that she is retiring on her own accord with the ultimatum of severance and a farewell show (whatever that will entail), and a final solo bow in front of the audience that has grown to love her and the work she has given OR be fired when the ever terrifying "Letters of Intent" come out usually around February to give you your yay or nay for the next season contract renewal.
I am only but lucky to have had this amazing artist, among others that have since been pushed too early from the stage as well because of unfortunately the same Artistic Director, to have been my example of what an artist truly is. I was one of the awestruck young dancers that sat in every rehearsal I could to watch and be moved to tears as they created amazing pieces of magic even in the studio.
I'm only 27. I know that there are more years and tears behind me than there are in front of me but I hope they are never cut too early.
The company I am with now does many outreaches that, yes on occasion are difficult as they change your schedule upside down and it's difficult to plan your other work schedules around, but when has anything in life that is worth while ever been without difficulties??? And yesterday didn't give me much hope for the future of dance as a list was put up and two of the young dancers saw they had to dance the Sugar Plum pas for one of the outreaches at a venue that is about 40 min away. Sarcastic comments and annoyance filled the room. Then my Artistic Director said there was one in house showing going to be made for The Make a Wish Foundation. A little girl fought brain cancer for 9 years, was in remission for a few, but the cancer came back and now it's terminal... and her wish was to always be The Sugar Plum Fairy. I almost burst into tears as only seconds before two bratty young dancers were complaining they had to dance the very thing this girl wished for and would probably trade spots with either of them if only to get the chance to dance they very thing they complained about. Isn't the purpose for what we do everyday, slaving, sweating, painfully trying to accomplish the perfection we set in our head to perform? Irony at it's saddest.
Here's to all the amazing artists that I can not only say changed my outlook of being an artist and having to take pride, dedication, work ethic, patience, strength, dignity, hope, responsibility and ownership for the chance given to do what it is we love, but also get the chance to call them friends.
And here's to all the future generations... study older artists... don't take ANYTHING for granted, WORK HARDER everyday than you did the day before, remember what Balanchine said "I don't want people who want to dance, I want people who have to dance.", know nothing will ever be just handed to you, COMPLAINING gets you nowhere and no friends that will respect you, ALWAYS know how lucky you are to get to do what it is you say you LOVE... if you don't love it don't do it as you don't deserve it than, and know you too will one day be "older".